For Worse

More Perfect Unions
The American Search for Marital Bliss
Rebecca L. Davis
Harvard University Press, $29.95, 336 pp.

American couples’ ambitions for personally fulfilling marriages have never been higher nor—given the high rates of divorce—more elusive.

Thus, as Rebecca Davis tells us in her history of marriage counseling, it is no surprise that engaged and married couples increasingly have turned to experts to help them anticipate and navigate the peaks and valleys of married life. In the early 1990s, she notes, 4.6 million Americans sought professional help with their marriages, and fifty-six...

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About the Author

Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, author of The Divorce Culture (Knopf), directs the Center for Thrift and Generosity at the Institute for American Values.